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Notes From the Garden: Pulling Back the Plants as the Weather Cools

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The first column I wrote, in fall 1998, was about putting the garden to bed. Since then, I’ve written steadily, 52 weeks a year, and I still love it. The nature of gardening is such that I can write a column a little ahead of deadline and take some time off, so that I can, for example, go hike the Chemin de St Jacque de Compostelle in southwest France. Here …

Notes From the Garden: Fermenting the Harvest for Flavor and Health

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Many people believe that fermented foods — sauerkraut, yogurt, sourdough bread, for example — are better for you than other foods. For thousands of years people have fermented foods as way to preserve them, and scientists today note that fermenting foods can increase their content of vitamin C, thiamine and niacin, among other nutrients. Fermented vegetables help to promote a healthy gut and …

How to Give Cans of Old Paint the Brush Off

Sunday, September 20, 2015

If you look in almost any homeowner’s garage, you’ll probably find a half-empty paint can or two. We know we can’t pour the leftover paint down the drain — which would contaminate the water treatment systems — and we can’t toss it in the trash without risking environmental damage and potential harm to the sanitation workers. So how do we get rid of …

Notes From the Garden: Starting Seeds Indoors

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

After arguably the coldest, snowiest winter on record, I am ready for spring. OK, maybe the winter of 1934 was colder. So what? I still have snow, and my woodpile is pathetic. I am picking up sticks and …

Notes From the Garden: The Gentle Horticultural Art of Kokebana

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This time of year I am champing at the bit, all set to garden, but without much I can do outside. So I was delighted to visit a friend in Maine who was experimenting with an art form/planting technique that was new to me: kokebana. This is a …

Notes From the Garden: Apple Tree Pruning Starts Late This Year

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Often the snow on the hilly south side of my house has melted by early March, allowing snowdrops to push their little noses out of the ground and permitting me to pick buds that open up indoors. That …

Harsh Winter May Mean a New Roof

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A harsh winter has taken a toll on many roofs. Maybe there’s a tell-tale leak, but sometimes problems are harder to spot. When the snow melts, it’s a good time to take stock. Identifying Problems John Galeotafiore, associate …

Notes From the Garden: How to Nurse a Rosemary Through the Perilous Month of March

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

This month, I’m planning not to kill my rosemary plant. It is so easy to do, and most of us who grow rosemary have done it at least once. We get a perfectly nice rosemary plant through the …

Notes From the Garden: Finding ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ in the Dead of Winter

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Winter trudges along, bringing us snow and sub-zero temperatures, seemingly ignoring the calendar that tells us spring is officially less than a month away. In between shoveling and carrying firewood I’ve spent considerable time reading this winter. My …

How to Sell that ‘Unsellable’ Home

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Do you think your house is unsellable due to its location? Highly rated real estate agents on Angie’s List explain how to sell a house, even in the most undesirable spot. If the most important thing in real estate is location, location, location, how do you sell your …

Notes From the Garden: Growing Mushrooms at Home

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

About 20 years ago, I started growing mushrooms outdoors on logs. It’s a simple process that involves drilling holes in freshly cut logs and inserting little wooden plugs that I buy called plug spawn. Then I let them …

A Handyman for That Honey-Do List

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tired of waiting for that honey-do list to get done? Consider hiring a handyman instead to tie up all those loose ends around your house. Just make sure to follow these five tips: ∎ Understand pricing. Many handyman services, but not all, charge an hourly rate and a …

Notes From the Garden: Tired of Winter? Time to Start Forcing Blossoms

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I’ve been hearing from friends who are sick of winter. We’re only about half way done with it, but we haven’t had a break — no January thaw this year — and the snow keeps building up. I have to admit that I’m a little tired of shoveling …